MORE ON COMMUNICATIONS
Now that we have knocked down some barriers to communicating freely, its time to look at the mechanics involved in communication.
In its simplest form, communication is a projection of something from a source point to a receipt point. In some respects, we could even think of all particle motion or flows of energy as being communications from one location to another.
But here we are interested in communications originated by a living being, and this has the special aspect of being created and projected here and now at the will of the originating individual. This is special because much of what we perceive is old stuff that is continuing to bounce around.
There are many useful things that we can address here and we will take them up one at a time, doing some drills as we go along. Even a small amount of work in this area can significantly improve someone’s life because it is such a major part of our interaction with other people.
9.1 Projecting Intention
The simplest and most powerful factor involved in actually getting a communication across is to project or intend the communication across the distance and into the spot where you want to deliver it.
Interestingly enough, the words and mechanics are secondary to the intention itself. You can say the wrong words and people get what you mean if your intention is strong enough. You can whisper across a noisy room and be heard by your intended recipient. Strange and wonderful things can occur as you develop skills in this area.
On simply reading the drills given here, they might seem silly or trivial. They are not, but you will need to try them to understand the effect.
Pick an object in the room and begin saying “Hello” to it out loud. Notice the point in space into which you are projecting each hello. Intentionally aim some of them to land in front of or behind the object and to the right and left of it. Then focus in and have the hello land right in the center of the object.
Pick another object and repeat this.
Concentrate on getting the hello into specific points under your control and with awareness of where the specific point is that you are projecting into.
Continue this until you master projecting your intention into specific points.
Note that here we are using the active rather than the passive definition of intention. In other words, this is in the sense of intending something to happen rather than contemplating one’s intentions or motivations.
Now rapidly look around the room selecting objects and saying hello to them, having the intention land squarely in the middle of the object each time.
If you feel that one missed and didn’t really land in the object, then say hello to another object and then go back and say hello to the one you missed rather than struggling to correct your intention. In other words, keep moving along briskly in a positive manner bouncing back as needed until you are satisfied that you are reaching everything satisfactorily.
Now makeup a nonsense word and have it mean “hello”. Say this word, but have the intention “hello” land in the objects.
Next, use random words that have other meanings, but say them to the objects with the intention that they mean “hello”.
Do this until you can decouple your mental intention from the verbalization and project an intention regardless of the sounds you are using.
Now shout hello at objects until you feel any barrier that you might have on projecting force has given way.
Then whisper hello at objects while projecting a strong intention.
If needed, alternate a few commands of each until you can maintain as strong an intention while whispering as you do while shouting.
Now project the intention “hello” into objects silently. The idea here is to get the intention into the object rather than simply thinking it in your head.
Occasionally say hello out loud to the objects a few times and then go back to the silent intention. Continue this until you can maintain the strength of your intention even if you are silent.
As in all of these drills, you project your intention into individual objects, hitting precise spots.
Pushing in one direction can be tiring. Communications and intentions do not have to be two way, but they are more comfortable when they move in both directions.
So, to balance this a bit, intend “hello” into each object silently and then imagine that it is saying “thank you” back to you, with the intention moving from the object to you.
Continue this until you feel comfortable.
Note that it is actually you who is providing the intention on this returned communication.
Try these things in everyday conversation, saying things with a strong mental intention and also experimenting a bit with not putting any intention behind what you are saying or putting out a different intention than the words you use. Notice how people react and see what you can observe.
Note that very strong intentions tend to be commanding.
Also note that people often feel non-verbal intentions but choose to ignore them.
If you get very good at this, you can sometimes make a waiter or waitress jerk or turn around with a silent intention, but they are so good at ignoring shouted cries for attention from customers that ignoring a silent intention is very easy for them. Even if you can see them react, they will make a point of not responding. You will find, however, that you can often catch their attention with a whisper across a noisy room and they respond best to this because its novel and it gets around the heavy mental shields they have built up against being continually pushed around by the customers. The lighter the touch, the better the reaction.
If somebody is determined to get a communication across, they keep pushing and repeating the communication until they see that it has been received.
If their observation is poor, it is hard for them to see that the communication was received unless they are given some sort of acknowledgment for the communication.
Furthermore, many things that a person is doing or creating compulsively or automatically are old attempts to communicate something which were never properly acknowledged.
And in the course of everyday conversation, the communications will often go smoother if there is some acknowledgment back and forth as well as originated communications.
There are many things that you can say to acknowledge a communication. Sometimes you only wish to convey that you heard it and other times you might also convey agreement. Note that you do not have to agree to acknowledge something. The person can at least be made to feel that he has gotten his message across.
To acknowledge, you might say things such as “Good”, “Fine”, “Thank you”, “I got that”, “I heard that”, “All right”, etc.
Acknowledgments can convey one’s feelings or simply be a pure and complete fulfillment of the communication without any implied evaluation of the content.
If you convey a feeling of sarcasm or criticism with a supposed acknowledgment, you are actually rejecting the communication instead of acknowledging and this can create upsets. If you must disagree, you are better off acknowledging purely (so that the person knows that you understood what they were saying) and then explaining your disagreement rather than cutting straight in with a criticism.
If you are processing somebody else, you generally just want to let them consider things without putting in your own two cents worth, so you practice using pure acknowledgments that do not imply any evaluation. In ordinary conversation however, more feedback is often needed. But if somebody is getting something off of their chest, you would be wise to acknowledge in a pure manner so that they can purge themselves of what they need to say.
An acknowledgment can be a full and complete stop, or a simple acknowledgment of the specific communication, or a partial (or half) acknowledgment which encourages the person to say more. These can all be practiced.
Imagine objects in the room saying hello to you and you acknowledge each one by saying “Thank you” out loud. Put the acknowledgment precisely into the object as in the intention drills given in the previous section.
You can acknowledge with too much force, not only ending the cycle of communication but also putting in an extra push that can overwhelm the person you are talking too.
You can also acknowledge too weakly (not an encouraging half acknowledgment to get the person to talk more, but simply too weak).
Have objects say hello to you and practice over and under acknowledging them, doing a few with too much force (shouting or whatever) and then a few that are too weak, and then a few correct ones. Go through these a few times until you master this and then finish off with good acknowledgments.
Now have objects say hello to you and acknowledge them silently.
Have objects say hello to you and practice acknowledging (out loud) with various attitudes of approval or disapproval and also doing a few pure acknowledgments occasionally. Continue until you master this and then finish off with some pure acknowledgments.
Now practice partial acknowledgments as follows:
Have an object say hello to you. Give it a partial or leading acknowledgment which encourages it to say more. This could be a normal acknowledgment said in a leading manner or even a questioning “umm..?”. Then imagine it saying “The weather is nice” and give it a full acknowledgment. Pick another object and do the same until you have this mastered.
Now try this in everyday conversation. Again, experiment a bit and observe the results.
You can often defuse troublesome situations by acknowledging very fully and absolutely while not saying or originating anything else yourself. Handle everything, even questions, by continuing to say something like “thank you very much, I really understood what you said” in a strong and confident manner. Each strong acknowledgment tends to end the action that the other person is putting there and they keep having to start all over again.
This trick of continuing to acknowledge without originating works great as a defense against salesmen. Don’t depend on it in high violence situations, but it does work sometimes, use your judgment. As for policemen, it might sometimes get you off with a reprimand instead of a traffic ticket, but don’t expect it to derail somebody who is intent on doing their duty.
9.3 Putting it All Together
Let’s wrap this up with some practice at asking a question with intention, getting an answer, and acknowledging the answer.
For this we need live people and a simple gimmick to provide an excuse for asking an inoffensive question. The easiest way to do this is to do a survey.
Get a clipboard and attach a notepad to it. If necessary, practice writing on it while standing up. It will be easier if you look and dress professionally or in an appropriate manner depending on the location and the questions used.
Make up a pair of survey questions. “What was the last movie that you saw?” and “Did you like it?” will generally work fine as long as they are appropriate to the place where you will do the survey.
When you ask the question, you need to be interested in hearing the answer, so try to use a question that you can work up some enthusiasm for. And remember that this is a chance to learn a bit more about people. On that basis, you should have some real interest in hearing what they have to say. This is good practice for getting along well at social gatherings, because people like it when somebody is interested in what they are saying.
You might as well do this as a real survey and actually total up the results afterwards. This will ensure that you actually write up the answers properly (people will find it annoying if you don’t) and you will know the results and be able to answer smartly in case one of the people surveyed sees you again later and asks. Also, this might make it a bit more fun.
If anybody asks, you can say that you are doing this for a course that you are taking. Psychology students, marketing students, and students of statistical analysis do these kind of things all the time. There is no need to pretend to be doing an official survey for some company.
Go to a crowded place. Select individuals, go over to them, and ask them if you can ask them a survey question. Acknowledge the answer, and if they are willing, go ahead and ask the first question, acknowledge it, and then ask the second question and acknowledge it. Write down the answers. Thank them for their time and move on to the next one.
If they have a good bit to say, you can encourage them with partial acknowledgments.
If you try to give somebody a strong acknowledgment too soon, they will feel that you are trying to stop them from communicating or that you didn’t get what they are trying to say and they have a tendency to repeat themselves and talk on at great length. This is called a premature acknowledgment. Try to avoid doing it and when you do, live with the consequences. You goal is to cleanly hear a full communication and acknowledge it at the right moment with the right amount of strength to properly complete it.
If they originate something else instead of answering, let them say what they need to, acknowledge it fully, handle it if necessary (they may need the time or directions), and repeat your question.
If somebody proves troublesome or dangerous, handle with acknowledgments and gently disconnect.
There are a great deal of things that can be drilled here. The Scientology communication course does some work in these areas, but it is dependent on having pairs of students who can coach each other. Here we have gone further in some areas and done less in others as necessitated by the solo nature of this book.
Remember, this book is only a beginning. The subject matter of each chapter can be carried further.